Estates-General Meeting

The Old regime
What was Life like?
– Life was harsh for the third estate.
– There were no taxes for the second or first estates
as the third estate, who had very little money,
paid very high taxes.
– The third estate was not thought of much by the
– Life was great for the first and second estate, had
a lot of money and rights whereas the third estate
had very little.
What was Absolutism?
– The principle or exercise of absolute and
unrestricted power of the government
– The government has total, unrestricted power.
– The people have 0% of the power
– Government could make any laws, but the laws
did not apply to them
– The people had no rights.
– The First Estate
– The 1st estate: The Clergy (Catholic church,
Priests, Bishops)
owned 10% of the land
Freedom form taxes
Operated schools & hospitals
Censored books
Conducted religious services
Moral police
Registered births, marriages, and deaths
Second Estate
– The 2nd estate: The Nobiltiy
owned 25% of the land
Freedom from taxes
Operate the government
Collected rent
Lived in luxury, no food shortages
Provided protection
The third estate
– The 3rd estate: Everybody else (peasants,
merchants, artisans)
• Owned 65% of land → Buourgeosise: 25%, Peasants:
• Had to pay taxes and rent
• Farmed and harvested crops/did all the physical labor
• No social status or privilege
• Often overruled by the first and second estate
What were the causes of
discontent in France?
By Carly Comito, Michelle Jeffery, and
Kayla Scoli
• Bread shortage
was Shortage
an economic and social
• Royalty had large feasts every day while the
poor people suffered from starvation.
• The lower people in society would go to
extreme measures to get food.
• The demand of the bread was greater than
the supply they had.
• It was leading to social distress.
The French monarchy
• The French Monarchy was absolutism which is where they
had 100% of the power.
• Lower people in society had few rights.
• Louis XVI was the king during this time period.
• He was uninterested in ruling the country and was selfindulgent.
• He lived in the Versailles where they were physically
detached from Paris which is where most of the population
• There was no similarity between the people that lived in
the Versailles and Paris.
• This was a political issue.
American Revolution
• This was a economic and social issue.
• The French helped the US fight Britain
because they hated Britain for the reason of
them losing their land to Britain.
• The American Revolution put France in debt.
• They were no funds and people suffered from
• The French were inspired by the US because
they saw how much better their lives were.
The enlightenment
• This was a social cause.
• During the Enlightenment, reason replaced
• People began to question authority.
• New ideas about the government was developed.
• The status quo can be changed.
• The people believed that the government
represent the people.
• The individual person wanted to be better than
their status.
What did Jean Domat say about
• Domat believed all men are equal by nature, but with
the equality there are different factors that could effect
their position in society.
• The ideas of a government are evident in a family due
to the power, or leader in the family being the father,
as the leader in government is the king. Children are
like the citizens, who must be obedient to their leader.
• To him, obedience is necessary to maintain the order
and peace that unites the society.
• He promoted idea that the monarch came from the
gods (Divine Right of Kings).
What did Abbe Seiyes say about
• Seiyes’ opinion on the estates was that the third estate
carries the burden of taxes that the other two classes
don’t. Without the third class, society could not
function because no taxes would be paid. However,
without the first and second estate, society would be
much better because all the taxes would not have to be
paid by the poorest citizens of France, taxes would be
spread out throughout all social classes.
• Seiyes stated that the third estate was the most
important of the three, so much so that the other
estates should cease to exist.
Estates-General Meeting
• King Louis XVI called the Estates-General Meeting for the
first time in 175 years
• Thought he could get approval to tax the first and second
estates to get out of the financial crisis There was a
disagreement in the meeting and the king locked the third
estate out
• Third Estate want more of a say in government and leave
for the Tennis Court showing the first act of defiance
• The Tennis Court Oath showed that the Third Estate did not
want to be under the king’s rule and established the idea of
popular sovereignty. It later led the to creation of the
Constitution and National Assembly.
The Storming of the Bastille
Keith Katz
Maraide Cifelli
Kaitlin Muccio
• Bastille was a armory/prison in Paris filled with guns
• Symbol of King’s absolute power
• On July 14, 1789, citizens decided to take action against the harsh rule of
the monarchy stormed the fortress
• An estimated 28,000 weapons were taken
• After the citizens took control, they dismantled the fortress brick by brick
Literal Importance
• Armed the citizens with thousands of
weapons to fight the Monarchy
• Was one of the first significant acts of defiance
that the people took against the government
Figurative Importance
• The Bastille was a symbol of the hold that the
Monarchy held over the third estate
• When the attackers started to take apart the
Bastille, it represented the metaphorical
dismantling of feudalism
• One of the events that turned the power in
France to the people
The Declaration of Rights of
Nathaniel Griffee, Michelle
Verkhoglaz, Evangelia Panagakos
Declaration of Rights of Man
• Written and approved by the National
Assembly on August 26th 1789
• It is based on the Declaration of
Independence in America and asserts the
principle of popular sovereignty
• It says that all men are free and equal.
• It goes over how the government cannot
abuse its power against the people
• It gives people freedom of speech and
Why was the French Revolution a
By Kira Player, Lyne Kabbara, and Mia
The French Revolution was a
revolution because…
It was caused by three complaints the
people had and they desperately argued
for change.
• The monarch had 100% • The Enlightenment
• There was a shortage of
of the power while
began and people
bread among the
people had few rights
began to question
French people while the
• King Louis was young,
royalty had large feasts
glutinous, and
• They began to think the
every day.
uninterested in ruling
status quo could change • France aided the U.S. in
the country
and the government
the American revolution
• He physically was
should represent the
and was in large debt.
detached from Paris and
was unaware of the
• Reason replaced
needs of the people
Execution of the King
• The third estate was kicked out of the meeting
of the Estates General.
• They formed the National Assembly.
• Once they became a republic, they were all
radicals and none of them wanted a king
• He was then guillotined by the people.
• Stages: Absolutism  Constitutional Monarch
 Republic
• Absolutism: the King had all the power and
was meant to be king “because of God’s word”
• Constitutional Monarch: still wanted a King,
but the common people created a
Constitution to limit his power
• Republic: saw no reason to have a King
anymore and decided to behead him

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